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58

How do the Kobolds remember which parts are trapped? Basically, this answer is about weaving the Kobold's own marking system into the narrative. It does assume you draw your own maps and don't use Dungeon Tiles or anything. Obtain 6 or so pretty looking symbols (they don't need to have meaning, but if they look Draconic it's bonus awesome) Mark every ...


22

Distance in squares and other actions: Did a spellcaster ever miscast a spell as he suddenly realized that the target was out of range? Did a fighter ever charge and notice that he could not reach the opponent, wasting his action? Did an archer ever shoot an arrow to notice that it could not reach the target? If you answered three times with no I think ...


15

This answer basically trades significant amounts of out-of-game prep-time in order to save in-game play-time. For a variety of reasons (but mostly because it’s horribly tedious), I have only used it a few times. The idea is to mark traps on the grid, and then cut up post-it notes and cover the markings. Have to make sure you have sufficiently-opaque post-it ...


14

There are no rules for this. That's okay though, as rules for this won't solve your problem anyway, and you need to approach this differently: The event that inspired this question is an example of social contract conflict or friction—some groups are OK with reifying game abstractions, and others aren't. Your GM isn't, and your wizard-player is. To solve ...


13

Draw lines through corners. None of your examples seem correct to me. While almost everyone uses area templates, the rules specify that you have to draw lines out from the chosen center point until you hit an obstruction or reach the limit of the effect’s radius. These are known as lines of effect, and are actual, geometrical, 1-dimensional lines, not ...


12

As SevenSidedDie says, there are no rules for this, so you(r DM) needs to make a ruling one way or the other. Personally, if I was the DM on the spot, I'd probably rule that: Yes, the characters can totally call out "invisible goblin on my 2 o'clock, distance 30 feet!" and be understood. If necessary, they can also use their finger to point. No, I'm not ...


11

I did something like this for a specific large passage in a dungeon in my game, the solution that worked well for me was to have trap placement dictated by a hidden pattern At first it might seem like this would be too obvious, but you'd be surprised how difficult it is to work out a pattern when you don't even know if there is a pattern in the first place, ...


8

I've used a "Minesweeper" strategy for this to good effect. To use @Lunin's example: |T 3 T| | T | |T 4 T| | T | |T 4 T| | T ========= |T 4 T T T | T 4 T 4 T 4 T |T 3 T T T =============== Instead of the numbers, I drew a star-like pattern with a point pointing toward a trap (and a dot in the center if that square was ...


7

For what it's worth, there are isometric tilesets available for Roll20. A search for "isometric" on the Roll20 Marketplace turns up several results, including Isometric 3D Desert Tomb, Isometric Sewer, and Isometric Dungeon (by Plexsoup; I am not affiliated). The description pages for Plexsoup's isometric sets also includes instructions for creating a ...


5

There's basically two factors you want to make sure to hit upon. Consequential Terrain As you mentioned, the terrain you include doesn't actually influence the combats on the basis of the power levels involved. You should think about what kinds of things DO work at that level. Lava? Alien superstructures that can't be blasted through? Etc. That's just ...


5

"Terrain is often of more value than bravery." — Flavius Vegetius Renatus, De re militari Just because your players are failing to make use of the terrain around them, doesn't mean their enemies won't The NPC enemies that your players face should me making heavy use and advantage of powerful terrain features to their advantage. They should be getting a ...


4

I print off custom maps from map creators, then lay an acrylic sheet over top. The hard surface is easier to place minis on and you can use dry-erase markers to augment the map with traps, AoE effects, etc. To add Fog of War to this setup, I use butcher paper in between the map and the acrylic then slid it out as the players progress. I have also used ...


4

Cut a bigger battlemat down to size A straightforward solution would be to buy a standard battle grid, like this one from paizo, and cut it into smaller pieces using sturdy household scissors, x-acto or carpet cutter knives. The main benefit is that this works exactly like the big one with regards to what pen you can use or how to erase it. The paizo ...


4

Dry erase markers work very well on clear acetate or poly page protectors. Print your grid, slip it into the page protector sleeve, and you're ready to map and erase. The protectors eventually wear out, but you'll get much more use for your dollar than any commercial whiteboard-like grid you're likely to find. An alternative that I used to use (long ago) ...


4

So, the best way to interpret this is to go back to the 3.5 version of D&D. In 4th Edition, there were no circular spell effects. Everything was a square to make things simple for the players and DM. Fifth Edition is going back to the earlier style of play where circles are more common, but on a grid, a circle isn't a circle at all (and they are not like ...


4

We usually draw dungeons onto a large battle map prior to the session. While it gives away a bit ahead of time, I always found it comparable to have a map of the city (or hiking trail) you visit - it's one thing that you know there is a large round place with a church building around the next corner and a completely other thing to end up on St. Peters Square ...


3

Not trying to sidestep your question, but I think your goal can be accomplished without tracking each square. Track "Zones" In your notes, you could identify areas of the map that contain certain kinds of traps without specifying where exactly on the grid the trap is. When someone passes through a zone, just assign the trap a specific square. This might ...


3

A very simple approach, which I'm surprised no one has suggested yet, is to simply not decide in advance. Say there are 100 squares, and you want to have 10 traps. So whenever a PC moves to a square they have not been on before, roll a d20, and on a 1 or 2 they stepped on a trap. Problem solved! Or say there are 5 pit traps and 10 spike traps. Now 1 or 2 ...


3

You could use "Secret ink glasses" : you mark the traps on the map with invisible ink, then put the glasses on, and you're the only one that can see traps ! Pretty fun ;) It's called polarizing ink, you can see an example here : Polarizing ink and glasse video example - Youtube


2

I have a very old battlemat that I just took out of storage. It sat for years with marker on the mat and some baby-wipes cleaned up almost all of the marker residue. I can't say for sure what types of markers were used but the mat was last used about TEN years ago. The ink was almost instantly removed. First it smeared but then the smears cleaned right ...


2

I use sheets of acrylic over top of paper maps and use butcher paper as 'fog of war' - I simply pull the butcher paper out as the PC's move forward. I place anti-slip cupboard liner under the maps so they don't slide too. Works like a charm. The acrylic sheets are handy when you use dry-erase markers on top, too.


2

Back in the 1st-edition/2nd-edition homew brew hybrid day I played a cleric from 1st up through pretty high levels, so I had lots of X-foot radius spell effects. There were not a lot of radii, though... mostly 5, 10 and 15 foot. So I printed these three circles (at 1" = 5 feet scale) onto clear transparencies (I used no grid since the grid of the battle mat ...


2

Tabletop Simulator is full 3d and allows you pick up and move anything, but it'll make your game look very much like an actual tabletop-game and I'm not sure that's the style you're aiming for. It's also not really designed specifically for RPG games, but I figured I'd at least give you the option to check for yourself.


2

I do a generous amount of custom map creation for my campaign. I find that having a mixture of digital and tangible map resources is quite useful. I do not have any resources specifically sized for A1 or A0 paper; however, many digital maps can be divided up using a tool like Gimp and pasted into a document for printing. I'll confess this is time-consuming, ...


2

I used an online graph paper maker and purchased a large acrylic sheet from a hardware store (looked for a damaged one for a discount). The acrylic sheet works great with dry-erase markers. The online graph paper maker includes grids, hexes, different weights of lines, etc. Basically, everything you could possibly need. The acrylic sheet also works great ...


2

How about the aptly named 3D Virtual Tabletop? It's currently available on iPad, iPhone and Android. You can import your own maps and minis from images on your device. A web browser version for Mac and PC is in the works.


2

I would consider marking each square with something, both the trapped and untrapped. You could also tie this visual to a feature, basically say "The blue dots denote the number of shallow pools of water, the dot is a pool, the blue is water. The dash means a tree root, the green means it is covered in ivy." Or whatever, but the idea is you could weave ...


2

Spell checks wich squares it can "shoot" into just like you would would you be standing there, at the point of origin with a bow (assuming that bow has range of 30' with no increment). In the given example you may shoot at any square with a pink(?) dot without hindrance while anything in the squares with blue and violet dots has cover. Spell affects just ...


1

Quite frankly, Roll20 is as easy or hard as you like. Just drag and drop images and draw right on the tabletop if you want. Give each player a token, use a blank background and hex overlay and you are set. You can draw away. You don't need to use the sounds, dice roller, etc. It will keep your map from game to game and you can open separate maps for ...


1

It's a bit of a hack, but this has proven useful in the past when playing remote sessions: We used Google shared docs --> More specifically we used the MS-Word-like text editor. It allows to: Add/overlay images Add simple shapes, and move those around The shapes can be used for very simple 'drawings' (comparable to the simple drawing tool in MS Word) ...



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